Appalachian Trail: Nolichucky River to Indian Grave Gap

MODERATE 14 reviews
#22 of 113 trails in

Appalachian Trail: Nolichucky River to Indian Grave Gap is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Erwin, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

8.1 miles
2,234 feet
Point to Point

dog friendly





nature trips

trail running





Your hike begins at west end corner of the Chestoa Bridge across from the Nolichucky Hostel. Head east crossing the bridge, then turn R on Jones Branch Road and then look into woods for white blaze to p/u the trail..2 mi you will have to cross a railroad track. It is very active and will approach without sound or warning, cross with extreme caution.The trail now begins to climb and runs parallel to the road and offers views of the river.1.3mi you will come to the Nolichucky Campground follow blazes to the left.1.8 mi you will begin to climb the mountain.2.9 mi you will find the Curley Maple Shelter a cinder block shelter with tin roof and one bunk sleeps 5.Water located 100' S of AT or if dry, backtrack .1mi to Jones Branch.Continue north for .1mi to reach Curley Maple Gap and the site of a CCC shelter from the 1930s.5.5mi you will reach a gap and old trails on both sides.Follow blazes straight, trail levels out until you reach a gravel road at Indian Grave Gap.

7 months ago

The trail up to the AT shelter was approximately 4 miles. Our group was three relatively fit adults (20-23), but adult life has taken its toll it seems because it was one of the more grueling hikes we've done in recent memory. Another nearby hike we do regularly is Margarette Falls, but I'd question classifying that as an intermediate trail, whereas I'd rate this one more like intermediate+ to the low-end of difficult.

It was rocky in the beginning segments, and after the first bridge crossing its relatively leisurely, but after the 2nd or 3rd bridge it's straight uphill the rest of the way. At least 2 miles are straight up the side of the mountain. It's beautiful, for sure, even now in the early part of winter.

If you're an experienced hiker, or confident in your level of fitness I wholeheartedly recommend it. It's a fun and pretty trail with variable terrain and isn't *very* heavily traveled, but there were some nice older ladies who put us to shame when we went. We felt like we were dying on the final leg up to the shelter.

I guarantee I will be very sore tomorrow.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Easy to find trail head, if you're looking at map sign at gravel parking area just turn around, look for white mark on tree and obvious entrance. Our group was 4 & 12 year old, a Vizsla and reasonably fit parents. First 1/5 is easy, crossing over train tracks and heading up hugging side of mountain. It gets progressively more difficult as to trail becomes narrow with loose rocks and steep drop. A couple sketchy rock clambered areas, but nothing too terrible. Like I said a 4 yo can handle it! 2/5 way you come to trail crossing with blue markers to right descending down to river and a camping area. You can get drinks, bathroom and dip tired feet and dogs in river here. Probably a good stop on way back. We went first and my group, after rejoining this trail and continuing, became a increasingly discontent. But the cruel trail master that I am, forced the continued march onward. Trail opens up and is frankly just a nice walk in the woods. It is well marked and maintained. And yet we saw no one. It was a Monday so that may explain it. Finally, the incessant grumbling became too great to ignore and we abandoned continuing at about 1/2 way. Looking forward to trying again to finish it. This was recommended by NC High Peaks group.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Sections are rugged and a fence in place to prevent wild hogs from eating the vegetation. Great trail, tough enough to really burn the legs and great vista views along the way.

trail running
Saturday, April 30, 2016

My dog and I parked at the bridge and walked 5.15 miles up. Then ran back down. Great trail, neat water crossings. Nice people. It was pretty busy.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

My difficulty rating "moderate - PLUS" because over two-thirds of trail was rocky. Tough going for small feet.

Monday, November 09, 2015

great day hike, but very rocky!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Some nice areal views of Erwin TN, lots of water flow on the streams and one area was looked like it needed a bridge (had to walk though a tree log. Great hike! From lots of rain to crazy winter storm during the night camping by the end.

12 days ago

2 months ago

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Thursday, June 12, 2014